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LOCAL: ANOTHER CANCER SCAMMING THUNDERC*N*

A 25-year-old Troy woman is accused of collecting money after lying to people, saying she and her son were suffering from cancer. Melissa D. Barton is charged with felony theft and deception after asking for and receiving money from organizations, individuals, and donation websites. She's accused of telling people she had cancer and that her son was diagnosed with leukemia in order to collect money through YouCaring.com and WePay.com. Police in Troy say Barton, who also used the names Melissa Dawn Pruett Barton and Missy Barton Pruett, was arrested Thursday afternoon. "Troy is a community that will come together to help each other when it's needed. It is acts like this that make people more hesitant to assist those that really need the help," said Chief Brad Parsons. Parsons says anyone who may have be defrauded by Barton should call Det. Coyne at 618-667-6731. Barton is held at the Madison County Jail on $50,000 bail.

PARENT OF THE YEAR NOMINEES: KID KEPT IN OUTDOOR CAGE FOR WEEKS

A Wyoming man and a woman face felony charges on allegations that they kept the woman's 7-year-old in an outdoor cage on and off for three weeks, forcing the child to sleep in the enclosure even during rainstorms. Deputies who went to the rural property outside Laramie on a tip last month say they found a wooden and metal cage outside the home. The enclosure contained a cot, a toothbrush, a bucket and other items. Court documents say the mother referred to it as a playpen and said the child was kept there because of misbehavior. The man told deputies he disliked the child but kept the child in the cage to ensure safety, according to an affidavit. The man and woman, who lived inside, each face one count of child abuse and three counts of felonious restraint, the Laramie Boomerang reported (http://bit.ly/1o98TW7). Neither defense attorney was available for comment Tuesday. Albany County sheriff's deputies went to the property on Fox Creek Road after receiving a tip July 23 that the child was being kept in a cage outside a home there. They discovered the cage was about 6 feet across, 5 feet tall, and constructed of cattle paneling and wooden snow fence. Inside the cage, deputies discovered a cot, clothing, books, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a five-gallon bucket, according to court documents. A metal chain and "dog-leash-style latch" were allegedly used to keep the child locked in the enclosure. Deputies said the child reported living in the cage on and off for three weeks, taking meals there and sleeping there overnight even when it rained. The couple were arrested July 24. At a circuit court hearing set for Thursday, a judge will determine whether the man should face charges in district court. The case against the mother already has advanced to district court. A statement filed in court by investigators outlined one past report of child abuse and seven reports from welfare checks dating back to October 2013 received by the Albany County Sheriff's Office in reference to the child. In the October 2013 report, a representative from the Wyoming Department of Family Services said the child reported having not eaten for a number of days and having to stay outside for several hours and take shelter in a vehicle to stay warm. The Associated Press typically does not name victims of abuse and is withholding the man and woman's names to avoid identifying the child.

GREAT PARENTING: THREE PEOPLE ARE ARRESTED FOR A THREESOME IN A HOT TUB...INCLUDING ONE WHO LEFT HER YOUNG KIDS HOME ALONE

Would you put your kids in danger to have a once-in-a-lifetime sexual adventure?  You know what . . . it's probably better if you don't answer that. 28-year-old Gina Marie Rayner of Peoria, Arizona left her five-year-old and three-year-old alone at her boyfriend's apartment on Sunday night . . . so they could go have a THREESOME in a HOT TUB. Gina . . . her boyfriend, 30-year-old Anthony Vechiola . . . and a 29-year-old woman named Jennifer Duchnowski all got into the public hot tub at Anthony's apartment complex and started getting-it-on. Someone spotted them and called the cops.  And when the cops got there, they could hear Gina's five-year-old crying for his mother. Gina, Anthony, and Jennifer were all arrested and charged with public sexual indecency . . . and Gina could also be facing charges for child abuse. 

 

MORE THAN HALF OF PET OWNERS WOULD LEAVE THEIR DOG IN THE CAR

How do you feel about this dog lovers:? According to a new survey, 62 percent of dog owners say that they have no problem leaving their dog in a car for an hour-plus before returning to check on them. Sadder still, more than half of dog owners are unaware that a dog can die within 20 minutes of being left alone in a car and that the temperature inside the vehicle can more than double within an hour. “Dogs do not sweat like humans, but try and regulate their heat by panting or perspiring through their paw pads,” Dr. John Cousins, director of VioVet, explains. “In an airless car, with hot upholstery, the combination can prove fatal. Within minutes a dog can suffer irreversible brain damage or die.”

STUPID CRIMINAL: A WOMAN POSED FOR A PHOTO WITH THE STOLEN CREDIT CARD SHE'S BEEN USING

A woman who went on a shopping spree using a stolen credit card actually posed for a photo with the purloined plastic after a Florida store clerk became suspicious when the woman was unable to provide a state identification card, police report. According to cops, when the suspect sought last month to pay for more than $400 worth of items at an Ocala beauty supply store, a 21-year-old clerk asked for the shopper’s state ID. The customer explained that she did not have the government ID, but instead provided a photo of her bearing the name seen on the credit card. However, the worker at the Looking Good Beauty Supply store "still did not feel comfortable with the transaction so he requested to take a photo of the subject with the card,"  Because, who in their right mind would agree to such an image if they were engaging in felony credit card fraud, right? As seen above, the shopper agreed. Two sales totaling more than $430 were processed at the beauty store. The suspect, Ocala cops noted, also used the stolen card to make purchases at a Family Dollar store ($3.18) and a Citgo gas station ($60). The credit card was stolen last month from a 74-year-old woman as she shopped at Walmart. The victim contacted cops Sunday after noticing the fraudulent transactions on her credit card bill. Police have asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Though she seems to have done most of that work herself.

STUPID CRIMINAL: A MAN SHOVES FOUR LOGS OF SWISS CHEESE DOWN HIS PANTS BUT GETS CAUGHT WADDLING OUT OF THE STORE

So you think YOU like Swiss cheese?  35-year-old Elijah Eason of Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania LOVES Swiss cheese. Elijah went to a grocery store earlier this week, went into the cheese area . . . the FANCY cheese area, not the Kraft singles area . . . and started shoving large logs of Swiss cheese down his pants. Each log of Swiss was worth about $55, and he got four into his pants.  Then he tried to slip out of the store without anyone noticing. Unfortunately for Elijah, someone noticed he was WADDLING . . . you know, because of the giant logs of cheese down his pants.  A security guard stopped him and asked him about the cheese.  He responded, quote, "What cheese?" The cops came and arrested him for retail theft.  They also linked him to ANOTHER, similar Swiss cheese theft . . . on Saturday, he stole three logs of Swiss from a store in Reading, Pennsylvania and got away. There's no word what his intentions were with all that Swiss cheese.

STUPID CRIMINAL: BURGLAR CAUGHT COOKING LATE NIGHT CRAB CAKES

There’s the guy in Delaware who was caught robbing a restaurant because he stopped to cook up some crab cakes for himself. According to Delmarvanow.com , the crabburglar entered a Rehoboth Beach restaurant in the wee hours of the night last week, using the time-honored stealthy method of shattering the front glass door. In spite of his ninja-like efforts to go undetected, someone noticed the broken door and called the police, who arrived to find the man in the kitchen, cooking himself up some crab. He also had a stolen bottle of booze on him, which might explain his behavior. Because he apparently didn’t have enough crab cakes to share with everyone, the suspect attempted to flee when the officers arrived, but an alley-wide dragnet managed to track him down behind the restaurant. Police arrested him and charged the 41-year-old with burglary, theft under $1,500, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. No word yet on whether he got to enjoy the crab cakes.

STUPID CRIMINAL: COPS FIND POT PLANTS HANGING OUT OF CAR WINDOW

Two men were arrested when a Florida police officer making a traffic stop spotted a marijuana plant sticking out of a car window. A Clearwater officer had stopped the car, which was in the street without headlights following a burglary, on July 24, When the officers approached, they found one marijuana plant sticking out of the window, and the back seat of the car loaded with more plants, police said. Justin Goodloe, 20 and Alan Barnes, 19, were arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana. One of the men told the officers the pot plants had been stolen from an "acquaintance" who owed him a drug debt, police said.

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